Friday, February 28, 2020

Up the Trinity Staircase

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:57 PM

Or:  The Newman Prize  Continues.

Freeman Dyson reportedly died today.  In memoriam ,
some remarks by Dyson from Hiroshima Day 1979 —

(Click to enlarge.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 10:10 AM

See some posts related to three names
associated with Trinity College, Cambridge —

Atiyah + Shaw + Eddington .

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Trinity Stone Defined

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:56 PM

“Unsheathe your dagger definitions.” — James Joyce, Ulysses

The “triple cross” link in the previous post referenced the eightfold cube
as a structure that might be called the trinity stone .

An Approach to Symmetric Generation of the Simple Group of Order 168

Some small Galois spaces (the Cullinane models)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Eightfold Symmetries

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 9:48 PM

Harvard Crimson headline today–
Deconstructing Design

Reconstructing Design

The phrase “eightfold way” in today’s
previous entry has a certain
graphic resonance…

For instance, an illustration from the
Wikipedia article “Noble Eightfold Path” —

Dharma Wheel from Wikipedia

Adapted detail–

Adapted Dharma Wheel detail

See also, from
St. Joseph’s Day

Weyl's 'Symmetry,' the triquetrum, and the eightfold cube

Harvard students who view Christian symbols
with fear and loathing may meditate
on the above as a representation of
the Gankyil rather than of the Trinity.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

For Dan Brown

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:09 PM

See also Eightfold Trinity in this  journal.

Symbologist Robert Langdon views a corner of Solomon's Cube

Sunday, May 17, 2020

“The Ultimate Epistemological Fact”

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:49 PM

“Let me say this about that.” — Richard Nixon

Interpenetration in Weyl’s epistemology —

Interpenetration in Mazzola’s music theory —

Interpenetration in the eightfold cube — the three midplanes —

IMAGE- The Trinity Cube (three interpenetrating planes that split the eightfold cube into its eight subcubes)

A deeper example of interpenetration:

Aitchison has shown that the Mathieu group M24 has a natural
action on the 24 center points of the subsquares on the eightfold
cube’s six faces (four such points on each of the six faces). Thus
the 759 octads of the Steiner system S(5, 8, 24) interpenetrate
on the surface of the cube.

Friday, April 17, 2020

A Mechanism of Fission

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:01 PM

The above title was suggested by the previous post, Explosive Remarks.

'On Froebel's Third Gift,' from 'Paradise of Childhood,' 1906

Explosive Remarks

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:15 PM

Here is the background to Wheeler’s explosive remarks.

John Archibald Wheeler, director of the Center
for Theoretical Physics at the University of Texas,
is one of the world’s top theoretical physicists.
In 1939 he and Niels Bohr published a paper on
‘The Mechanism of Nuclear Fission”
that laid the groundwork for atomic and hydrogen bombs.
Wheeler later played major roles in their development.”

For a rather different explosion of Wheeler’s views, see the previous post.

Introduction to Quantum Woo

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:07 AM

“In his big book, Gravity  [sic ], Wheeler puts our space
into what he calls superspace, and speculates on the
most basic physical laws which operate on superspace.
He comes to the (to me) surprising conclusion that the
rock-bottom laws are the laws of the propositional calculus!”

— Martin Gardner, letter to Donald E. Knuth, 8 January 1976,
on cover of Notices of the American Mathematical Society ,
March 2011 issue.

Fact check —

Related reading —

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Architect’s Elegy

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:31 PM

On Boston's Hancock Tower:

"I reflect that all art, all beauty, is reflection."

Fictional character by John Updike (July 1976)

The architect of the tower reportedly died Monday.

See as well "Reflections: Disturbing the Universe I"
by the late Freeman Dyson in The New Yorker
issue dated August 6, 1979.

A reflection I prefer:

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Same Staircase, Different Day

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 2:18 PM

Freeman Dyson on his staircase at Trinity College
(University of Cambridge) and on Ludwig Wittgenstein:

“I held him in the highest respect and was delighted
to find him living in a room above mine on the same
staircase. I frequently met him walking up or down
the stairs, but I was too shy to start a conversation.”

Frank Close on Ron Shaw:

“Shaw arrived there in 1949 and moved into room K9,
overlooking Jesus Lane. There is nothing particularly
special about this room other than the coincidence that
its previous occupant was Freeman Dyson.”

— Close, Frank. The Infinity Puzzle  (p. 78).
Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

See also other posts now tagged Trinity Staircase.

Illuminati enthusiasts  may enjoy the following image:

'Ex Fano Apollinis'- Fano plane, eightfold cube, and the two combined.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Potter’s Staircase

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:48 PM

See as well "Up the Trinity Staircase" (yesterday afternoon)
and "British Pottery" (Log24 , December 22, 2018).

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Four Diamonds Meet the Five Red Herrings

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:34 AM

Lord Peter Wimsey (Balliol 1912) on the Balliol-Trinity rivalry at Oxford:

See also Balliol College in the post subtitled Spidey Goes to Church.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:58 AM

Visual Languages

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:48 AM

Good question. See also this  journal on the above date —

September 15, 2018.

Space, Time, Form

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:33 AM

Magic cube and corresponding hexagram, or Star of David, with faces mapped to lines and edges mapped to points

Click the image for some remarks on a related novel.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Reality Blocks

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:24 PM

The new Log24 tag "Eightfold Metaphysics" used in the previous post
suggests a review of posts that were tagged "The Reality Blocks" on May 24.

Then there is, of course, the May 24 death of Murray Gell-Mann, who
hijacked from Buddhism the phrase "eightfold way."

See Gell-Mann in this journal and May 24, 2003.

Seeing the Seing

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 2:30 PM

The phrase "experimental metaphysics" appeared in Peter Woit's weblog on June 11.
Google reveals that . . .

" 'experimental metaphysics' is a term coined by Abner Shimony …."

Shimony reportedly died on August 8, 2015.  Also on that date —

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Symmetry at Hiroshima

Filed under: G-Notes,General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 6:43 AM

A search this morning for articles mentioning the Miracle Octad Generator
of R. T. Curtis within the last year yielded an abstract for two talks given
at Hiroshima on March 8 and 9, 2018




Construction of highly symmetric Riemann surfaces, related manifolds, and some exceptional objects, I, II


Since antiquity, some mathematical objects have played a special role, underpinning new mathematics as understanding deepened. Perhaps archetypal are the Platonic polyhedra, subsequently related to Platonic idealism, and the contentious notion of existence of mathematical reality independent of human consciousness.

Exceptional or unique objects are often associated with symmetry – manifest or hidden. In topology and geometry, we have natural base points for the moduli spaces of closed genus 2 and 3 surfaces (arising from the 2-fold branched cover of the sphere over the 6 vertices of the octahedron, and Klein’s quartic curve, respectively), and Bring’s genus 4 curve arises in Klein’s description of the solution of polynomial equations of degree greater than 4, as well as in the construction of the Horrocks-Mumford bundle. Poincare’s homology 3-sphere, and Kummer’s surface in real dimension 4 also play special roles.

In other areas: we have the exceptional Lie algebras such as E8; the sporadic finite simple groups; the division algebras: Golay’s binary and ternary codes; the Steiner triple systems S(5,6,12) and S(5,8,24); the Leech lattice; the outer automorphisms of the symmetric group S6; the triality map in dimension 8; and so on. We also note such as: the 27 lines on a cubic, the 28 bitangents of a quartic curve, the 120 tritangents of a sextic curve, and so on, related to Galois’ exceptional finite groups PSL2(p) (for p= 5,7,11), and various other so-called `Arnol’d Trinities’.

Motivated originally by the `Eightfold Way’ sculpture at MSRI in Berkeley, we discuss inter-relationships between a selection of these objects, illustrating connections arising via highly symmetric Riemann surface patterns. These are constructed starting with a labeled polygon and an involution on its label set.

Necessarily, in two lectures, we will neither delve deeply into, nor describe in full, contexts within which exceptional objects arise. We will, however, give sufficient definition and detail to illustrate essential inter-connectedness of those exceptional objects considered.

Our starting point will be simplistic, arising from ancient Greek ideas underlying atomism, and Plato’s concepts of space. There will be some overlap with a previous talk on this material, but we will illustrate with some different examples, and from a different philosophical perspective.

Some new results arising from this work will also be given, such as an alternative graphic-illustrated MOG (Miracle Octad Generator) for the Steiner system S(5,8,24), and an alternative to Singerman – Jones’ genus 70 Riemann surface previously proposed as a completion of an Arnol’d Trinity. Our alternative candidate also completes a Trinity whose two other elements are Thurston’s highly symmetric 6- and 8-component links, the latter related by Thurston to Klein’s quartic curve.

See also yesterday morning’s post, “Character.”

Update: For a followup, see the next  Log24 post.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Ron Shaw — D. 21 June 2016

The date of Ron Shaw's 2016 death appears to be June 21:


All other Internet sources I have seen omit the June 21 date.

This  journal on that date —


Sunday, July 22, 2018


Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 10:29 AM

See also interality in the eightfold cube.

IMAGE- The Trinity Cube (three interpenetrating planes that split the eightfold cube into its eight subcubes)

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Dirac and Geometry (continued)

"Just fancy a scale model of Being 
made out of string and cardboard."

Nanavira Thera, 1 October 1957,
on a model of Kummer's Quartic Surface
mentioned by Eddington

"… a treatise on Kummer's quartic surface."

The "super-mathematician" Eddington did not see fit to mention
the title or the author of the treatise he discussed.

See Hudson + Kummer in this  journal.

See also posts tagged Dirac and Geometry.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Binary Revolution

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 5:00 PM

Michael Atiyah on the late Ron Shaw

Phrases by Atiyah related to the importance in mathematics
of the two-element Galois field GF(2) —

  • “The digital revolution based on the 2 symbols (0,1)”
  • “The algebra of George Boole”
  • “Binary codes”
  • “Dirac’s spinors, with their up/down dichotomy”

These phrases are from the year-end review of Trinity College,
Cambridge, Trinity Annual Record 2017 .

I prefer other, purely geometric, reasons for the importance of GF(2) —

  • The 2×2 square
  • The 2x2x2 cube
  • The 4×4 square
  • The 4x4x4 cube

See Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube.

See also today’s earlier post God’s Dice and Atiyah on the theology of
(Boolean) algebra vs. (Galois) geometry:

God’s Dice

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:45 AM

On a Trinity classmate of Ian Macdonald (see previous post)—

Atiyah's eulogy of Shaw in Trinity Annual Record 2017 
is on pages 137 through 146.  The conclusion —


Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Matrix for Quantum Mystics

Filed under: G-Notes,General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:29 PM

Scholia on the title — See Quantum + Mystic in this journal.

The Matrix of Lévi-Strauss

"In Vol. I of Structural Anthropology , p. 209, I have shown that
this analysis alone can account for the double aspect of time
representation in all mythical systems: the narrative is both
'in time' (it consists of a succession of events) and 'beyond'
(its value is permanent)." — Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1976

I prefer the earlier, better-known, remarks on time by T. S. Eliot
in Four Quartets , and the following four quartets (from
The Matrix Meets the Grid) —


From a Log24 post of June 26-27, 2017:

A work of Eddington cited in 1974 by von Franz

See also Dirac and Geometry and Kummer in this journal.

Ron Shaw on Eddington's triads "associated in conjugate pairs" —

For more about hyperbolic  and isotropic  lines in PG(3,2),
see posts tagged Diamond Theorem Correlation.

For Shaw, in memoriam — See Contrapuntal Interweaving and The Fugue.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Upgrading to Six

This post was suggested by the previous post — Four Dots —
and by the phrase "smallest perfect" in this journal.

Related material (click to enlarge) —

Detail —

From the work of Eddington cited in 1974 by von Franz —

See also Dirac and Geometry and Kummer in this journal.

Updates from the morning of June 27 —

Ron Shaw on Eddington's triads "associated in conjugate pairs" —

For more about hyperbolic  and isotropic  lines in PG(3,2),
see posts tagged Diamond Theorem Correlation.

For Shaw, in memoriam — See Contrapuntal Interweaving and The Fugue.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Three Things at Once

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:28 PM

Rosalind Krauss in 1979

Nanavira Thera in 1959

Cambridge University Press in 1999 —

See also Cube Bricks.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Machine That Will Fit

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:00 AM

Or:  Notes for the Metaphysical Club

Northrop Frye on Wallace Stevens:

"He… stands in contrast to the the dualistic
approach of Eliot, who so often speaks of poetry
as though it were an emotional and sensational
soul looking for a 'correlative' skeleton of
thought to be provided by a philosopher, a
Cartesian ghost trying to find a machine that
will fit."

Ralph Waldo Emerson on "vacant and vain" knowledge:

"The new position of the advancing man has all
the powers of the old, yet has them all new. It
carries in its bosom all the energies of the past,
yet is itself an exhalation of the morning. I cast
away in this new moment all my once hoarded
knowledge, as vacant and vain." 

Harold Bloom on Emerson:

"Emerson may not have invented the American
Sublime, yet he took eternal possession of it." 

Wallace Stevens on the American Sublime:

"And the sublime comes down
To the spirit itself,

The spirit and space,
The empty spirit
In vacant space."

A founding member of the Metaphysical Club:

See also the eightfold cube.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Triple Cross

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 1:30 PM

(Continued See the title in this journal, as well as Cube Bricks.)

Cube Bricks 1984 —

An Approach to Symmetric Generation of the Simple Group of Order 168
Related material —

Dirac and Geometry in this journal,
Kummer's Quartic Surface in this journal,
Nanavira Thera in this journal, and
The Razor's Edge  and Nanavira Thera.

See as well Bill Murray's 1984 film "The Razor's Edge"

Movie poster from 1984 —

"A thin line separates
love from hate,
success from failure,
life from death."

Three other dualities, from Nanavira Thera in 1959 —

"I find that there are, in every situation,
three independent dualities…."

(Click to enlarge.)

Friday, March 4, 2016

Cube Bricks 1984

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:06 PM

An Approach to Symmetric Generation of the Simple Group of Order 168

Related aesthetics —

"Poincaré said that science is no more a collection of facts
than a house is a collection of bricks. The facts have to be
ordered or structured, they have to fit a theory, a construct
(often mathematical) in the human mind. . . . 

Mathematics may be art, but to the general public it is
a black art, more akin to magic and mystery. This presents
a constant challenge to the mathematical community: to
explain how art fits into our subject and what we mean by beauty.

In attempting to bridge this divide I have always found that
architecture is the best of the arts to compare with mathematics.
The analogy between the two subjects is not hard to describe
and enables abstract ideas to be exemplified by bricks and mortar,
in the spirit of the Poincaré quotation I used earlier."

— Sir Michael Atiyah, "The Art of Mathematics"
     in the AMS Notices , January 2010

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dirac and Line Geometry

Some background for my post of Nov. 20,
"Anticommuting Dirac Matrices as Skew Lines" —

First page of 'Configurations in Quantum Mechanics,' by E.M. Bruins, 1959

His earlier paper that Bruins refers to, "Line Geometry
and Quantum Mechanics," is available in a free PDF.

For a biography of Bruins translated by Google, click here.

For some additional historical background going back to
Eddington, see Gary W. Gibbons, "The Kummer
Configuration and the Geometry of Majorana Spinors,"
pages 39-52 in Oziewicz et al., eds., Spinors, Twistors,
Clifford Algebras, and Quantum Deformations:
Proceedings of the Second Max Born Symposium held
near Wrocław, Poland, September 1992
 . (Springer, 2012,
originally published by Kluwer in 1993.)

For more-recent remarks on quantum geometry, see a
paper by Saniga cited in today's update to my Nov. 20 post

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In Memoriam…

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:25 PM

industrial designer Kenji Ekuan —

Eightfold Design.

The adjective "eightfold," intrinsic to Buddhist
thought, was hijacked by Gell-Mann and later 
by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
(MSRI, pronounced "misery").  The adjective's
application to a 2x2x2 cube consisting of eight
subcubes, "the eightfold cube," is not intended to
have either Buddhist or Semitic overtones.  
It is pure mathematics.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Frame Tale (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:30 AM

See The X-Men Tree,  another tree,  and Trinity MOG.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looking Deeply

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:48 PM

Last night's post on The Trinity of Max Black  and the use of
the term "eightfold" by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
at Berkeley suggest a review of an image from Sept. 22, 2011

IMAGE- Eightfold cube with detail of triskelion structure

The triskele  detail above echoes a Buddhist symbol found,
for instance, on the Internet in an ad for meditation supplies—

Related remarks


Mary Dusenbury (Radcliffe '64)—

"… I think a textile, like any work of art, holds a tremendous amount of information— technical, material, historical, social, philosophical— but beyond that, many works of art are very beautiful and they speak to us on many layers— our intellect, our heart, our emotions. I've been going to museums since I was a very small child, thinking about what I saw, and going back to discover new things, to see pieces that spoke very deeply to me, to look at them again, and to find more and more meaning relevant to me in different ways and at different times of my life. …

… I think I would suggest to people that first of all they just look. Linger by pieces they find intriguing and beautiful, and look deeply. Then, if something interests them, we have tried to put a little information around the galleries to give a bit of history, a bit of context, for each piece. But the most important is just to look very deeply."


According to Robert Thurman, the term "Nikāya Buddhism" was coined by Professor Masatoshi Nagatomi of Harvard University, as a way to avoid the usage of the term Hinayana.[12] "Nikaya Buddhism" is thus an attempt to find a more neutral way of referring to Buddhists who follow one of the early Buddhist schools, and their practice.

12. The Emptiness That is Compassion:
An Essay on Buddhist Ethics, Robert A. F. Thurman, 1980
[Religious Traditions , Vol. 4 No. 2, Oct.-Nov. 1981, pp. 11-34]


Nikāya [Sk. nikāya, ni+kāya]
collection ("body") assemblage, class, group


Sanskrit etymology for नि (ni)

From Proto-Indo-European *ni …


नि (ni)

  • down
  • back
  • in, into


Kaya (Skt. kāya སྐུ་, Tib. ku Wyl. sku ) —
the Sanskrit word kaya literally means ‘body’
but can also signify dimension, field or basis.

སྐུ། (Wyl. sku ) n. Pron.: ku

structure, existentiality, founding stratum ▷HVG KBEU

gestalt ▷HVG LD

Note that The Trinity of Max Black  is a picture of  a set
i.e., of an "assemblage, class, group."

Note also the reference above to the word "gestalt."

"Was ist Raum, wie können wir ihn
erfassen und gestalten?"

Walter Gropius

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Child’s Play

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:56 PM


“A set having three members is a single thing
wholly constituted by its members but distinct from them.
After this, the theological doctrine of the Trinity as
‘three in one’ should be child’s play.”

– Max Black, Caveats and Critiques: Philosophical Essays
in Language, Logic, and Art
, Cornell U. Press, 1975

IMAGE- The Trinity of Max Black (a 3-set, with its eight subsets arranged in a Hasse diagram that is also a cube)

Related material—

The Trinity Cube

IMAGE- The Trinity Cube (three interpenetrating planes that split the eightfold cube into its eight subcubes)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Cosmic Part

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 6:29 PM

Yesterday’s midday post, borrowing a phrase from the theology of Marvel Comics,
offered Rubik’s mechanical contrivance as a rather absurd “Cosmic Cube.”

A simpler candidate for the “Cube” part of that phrase:


The Eightfold Cube

As noted elsewhere, a simple reflection group* of order 168 acts naturally on this structure.

“Because of their truly fundamental role in mathematics,
even the simplest diagrams concerning finite reflection groups
(or finite mirror systems, or root systems—
the languages are equivalent) have interpretations
of cosmological proportions.”

Alexandre V. Borovik in “Coxeter Theory: The Cognitive Aspects

Borovik has a such a diagram—


The planes in Borovik’s figure are those separating the parts of the eightfold cube above.

In Coxeter theory, these are Euclidean hyperplanes. In the eightfold cube, they represent three of seven projective points that are permuted by the above group of order 168.

In light of Borovik’s remarks, the eightfold cube might serve to illustrate the “Cosmic” part of the Marvel Comics phrase.

For some related theological remarks, see Cube Trinity in this journal.

Happy St. Augustine’s Day.

* I.e., one generated by reflections : group actions that fix a hyperplane pointwise. In the eightfold cube, viewed as a vector space of 3 dimensions over the 2-element Galois field, these hyperplanes are certain sets of four subcubes.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Accentuate the Positive

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:02 PM

An image that may be viewed as
a cube with a + on each face—


The eightfold cube


Underlying structure

For the Pope and others on St. Benedict’s Day
who prefer narrative to mathematics—

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Saturday December 23, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Black Mark

Bernard Holland in The New York Times on Monday, May 20, 1996:

“Philosophers ponder the idea of identity: what it is to give something a name on Monday and have it respond to that name on Friday….”

Log24 on Monday,
Dec. 18, 2006:

“I did a column in
Scientific American
on minimal art, and
I reproduced one of
Ed Rinehart’s [sic]
black paintings.”

Martin Gardner (pdf)

“… the entire profession
has received a very public
and very bad black mark.”

Joan S. Birman (pdf)

Lottery on Friday,
Dec. 22, 2006:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061222-PAlottery.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

, 2005:

Analysis of the structure
of a 2x2x2 cube

The Eightfold Cube

via trinities of
projective points
in a Fano plane.

7/15, 2005:

“Art history was very personal
through the eyes of Ad Reinhardt.”

  — Robert Morris,
Smithsonian Archives
of American Art

Also on 7/15, 2005,
a quotation on Usenet:

“A set having three members is a
single thing wholly constituted by
its members but distinct from them.
After this, the theological doctrine
of the Trinity as ‘three in one’
should be child’s play.”

— Max Black,
Caveats and Critiques:
Philosophical Essays in
Language, Logic, and Art

Friday, May 6, 2005

Friday May 6, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:56 PM

Trinity symbol
(See Sequel.)

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/KleinDualInsideOut200.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Trinity symbol
by Greg Egan
(via John Baez)



"Difficult to understand because of intricacy: byzantine, complex, complicated, convoluted, daedal, Daedalian, elaborate, intricate, involute, knotty, labyrinthine, tangled."

— Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition

See also the previous three entries,
as well as Symmetries.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Friday April 30, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 6:24 AM


These are the folios of April,
All the library of spring

Christopher Morley

The above quotation is dedicated to Quay A. McCune, M.D., whose copy of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations I purchased for two dollars at a Friends of the Library sale on July 2, 1999.  Dr. McCune's copy of Bartlett was the twelfth edition, of November 1948, in a February 1952 reprint.  It was edited by Christopher Morley.

Incidentally, Morley's father Frank, a professor of mathematics, is the discoverer of Morley's theorem, which says that the angle trisectors of any triangle, of whatever shape, determine an equilateral "Morley triangle" hidden within the original triangle.


Those familiar with Dorothy Sayers's explication of the Trinity, The Mind of the Maker, will recognize that this figure represents a triumph over the heresies she so skillfully describes in the chapter "Scalene Trinities."  From another chapter:

"… this is the Idea that is put forward for our response. There is nothing mythological about Christian Trinitarian doctrine: it is analogical. It offers itself freely for meditation and discussion; but it is desirable that we should avoid the bewildered frame of mind of the apocryphal Japanese gentleman who complained:

'Honourable Father, very good;
 Honourable Son, very good; but
 Honourable Bird
     I do not understand at all.'

'Honourable Bird,' however, has certain advantages as a pictorial symbol, since, besides reminding us of those realities which it does symbolise, it also reminds us that the whole picture is a symbol and no more."

In the Morley family trinity, if Frank is the Father and Christopher is the Son, we must conclude that the Holy Spirit is Christopher's mother — whose maiden name was, appropriately, Bird.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Sunday June 15, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 PM

Readings for Trinity Sunday

  1. Triune knot:
    Problems in Combinatorial Group Theory, 7 and 8, in light of the remark in Section 8.3 of Lattice Polygons and the Number 12 
  2. Cardinal Newman:
    Sermon 24
  3. Simon Nickerson:

For more on the structure
discussed by Nickerson, see

Raiders of the Lost Matrix:

For theology in general, see

Jews Telling Stories.

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